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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eastern culture diluted for Western consumption
In feudal Japan, when their Lord is bewitched & commits a crime, he is forced to perform sepppuku (ritual suicide by disembowelment) as punishment. Afterwards his loyal Samauri warriors are stripped of their titles, proclaimed Ronin (masterless Samurai) & banished from their province forbidden to return or face death. But knowing of the treachery committed upon their...
Published 3 months ago by Jules

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good ingredients...so-so result
A bit disappointed here. I mean you have KR (one of my fav actors), a few very good Japanese actors, a true samurai story and some fantasy (Lord of the Rings style) thrown into it ! how can you go wrong right? well, sometimes lots of good ingredients don't necessarily make a good dish.
The whole thing just doesn't add up...you don't feel a connection to the...
Published 2 months ago by Nello


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eastern culture diluted for Western consumption, 13 May 2014
By 
Jules (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: 47 Ronin [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
In feudal Japan, when their Lord is bewitched & commits a crime, he is forced to perform sepppuku (ritual suicide by disembowelment) as punishment. Afterwards his loyal Samauri warriors are stripped of their titles, proclaimed Ronin (masterless Samurai) & banished from their province forbidden to return or face death. But knowing of the treachery committed upon their Lord, they set out to revenge his death & reclaim his honor.

As with Hollywood films that are based on true stories, we usually give them the benefit of the doubt while taking it with a pinch of salt as well. The core story of the 47 Ronin was very engrossing, and they did flesh things out for Western audiences with a few sub plots, consisting of a love story, an outsider trying to earn respect & said outsider having magical powers. In the execution it gives us plenty of time to drink in the culture & visual beauty of feudal Japan which it achieves to aplomb, while they're maybe too much talking for some, it periodically throws in various action scenes to keep you sated. Some are traditional Eastern sword fights, while the CGI laden Japanese mythology & more Western influences from other Hollywood films e.g Pirates of the Caribbean etc.. are nice embellishments/distractions & obviously done to open the film up to appeal to a wider audience.

The acting was pretty good all round, Keanu Reeves (The Matrix) puts in a decent performance in a palatable co-lead role as the solemn British/Japanese 'half breed' Kai. Alongside him are a host of Japanese actors that maintain the traditional vibe of the film as they take turns together & apart in furthering parts of the story. The stand out's IMO being Hiroyuki Sanada (The Twilight Samurai) as Oishi the courageous leader of the 47 & Rinko Kikuchi (Pacific Rim) as the evil witch. The latter stole Tadanobu Asano's (Ichi The Killer) thunder as the devious Lord Kira, relegated to a lot of smirking as a result. And in a Captain Phillips fashion, newcomer Takato Yonemoto was welcome brief comedy relief in a a very sombre feeling movie as the rotund Ronin, Basho.

In conclusion, 47 Ronin was an enjoyable mixture of Western film making & an introductory experience to Japanese Feudal culture & mythology. Contains violence & mature themes. Recommended.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining & Underrated, 28 May 2014
By 
Timelord007 (The Tardis) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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Blu ray Info.
Region B/2.
Ratio 2.40:1
Sound:DTS Master Audio.
Running time 119 minutes approx.

Blu ray.
Picture: Sharp, Detailed & vibrant.
Sound: Crystal clear DTS Master audio sound.

Plot Synopsis.
Hunting in the forest Lord Asano of Ako & his Samurai finds a young half breed child named Kai & takes him back to there castle training him in the art of the Samurai.

Year's later Lord Asano holds a tournament to welcome the Shogun to Ako yet the night after the tournament Lord Asano is bewitched into harming Lord Kira of Nagato & is dishonoured into being shamed as a Ronin & is then punished in the art of performing seppuki the art of ritual suicide forced upon by the Shogun.

Kai discovers that this was a vicious plot hatched by the evil Lord Kira as Kai & Asanos Samurai warriors set out to avenge & restore honour to there former master as they set out to on there quest to bring down the Shogun order.

Timelord Thoughts.
This is a vastly underrated film that does not deserve the criticism it has been given, While not a perfect movie by any means 47 Ronin is a well directed action extravaganza featuring some well executed & choreographed action scenes.

This maybe historically inaccurate but who cares this is two hours of switch your brain off entertainment & if you go into the film with this attitude you maybe pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

After a slow bulid up actor Keanu Reeves is actually half decent as Kai who puts to use the skills he showcased so well in the Matrix trilogy & handles the part well of being a outcast who leads the Samurai on a journey to restore honour to there former master.

The set design's are stunningly well crafted & the special effects are visually stunning yet some backstory & character development seem to be missing that tells us very little about the supporting characters.

The movie has also been slated for it's ending, Yet it makes perfect sense to the warriors code of the samurai who sacrifice there honour in a bid to restore honour to there former master.

For a movie that's been savaged by the film critic's 47 Ronin is in fact a decent action/fantasy samurai movie, While not quite an epic movie as it could've been it is far better movie than it's been given credit for & overall is well worth a look.

Timelord Thoughts.
8/10
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57 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Massively underrated fantasy film, 11 Feb 2014
By 
D. Krol "deano76" (bradford) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 47 Ronin [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
***This review is for the film only***

I had heard quite a lot of mixed comments about this film, some people thought it was the film of the year, while some really disliked it, but I do like Keanu Reeves so I thought I'd give it go anyway. I'm glad that I did.

Plot: It's about a group of proud Samurai who's master is killed and dishonoured and their status is reduced to Ronin. Only for them to rise up and seek revenge against the evil ruler and his magical witch, who are responsible

This film was panned by critics and became a huge box office flop but I really can't understand why. It's high adrenaline, action packed, exciting and has some absolutely mind blowing special effects. Ok Keanu Reeves does look a little out of place in a movie full of Japanese actors, playing out a truly Japanese story, but that is easily got past. There is quite a lot of Japanese language and subtitles in the film but most of it is in English so it's not too hard to follow.

The camera work and sound in this movie are what makes it really stand out, the unknown director really did a sterling job here and really immerses you into the magical world of the Ronin.
The acting for the most part is very good too and you really do develop a kind of kinship with some of the characters, which makes you really root for them and genuinely care about their fate.

All in all 47 Ronin is a fun, exciting, way to spend a couple of hours, it's visually stunning to look at and after a slowish start, the action and fantasy never lets up. Without giving too much away, it does leave the door open for a sequel but alas, due to its poor box office performance I doubt that we will ever see one.

8/10 Very good fantasy movie, harshly panned by the critics
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good ingredients...so-so result, 1 July 2014
A bit disappointed here. I mean you have KR (one of my fav actors), a few very good Japanese actors, a true samurai story and some fantasy (Lord of the Rings style) thrown into it ! how can you go wrong right? well, sometimes lots of good ingredients don't necessarily make a good dish.
The whole thing just doesn't add up...you don't feel a connection to the characters or the story. Hard to put my finger on it...characters seem so flat in lack of a better word. I see rottentomatoes gave a 1* rating LOL Maybe too harsh but you get the idea...
Visuals are ok and so is the HD sound.
I was expecting so much more.....maybe part II ? :-D
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3.0 out of 5 stars Stylish and interesting, but also slightly odd, 20 July 2014
This review is from: 47 Ronin (DVD)
’47 Ronin’ is actually based on an old Japanese historical event when 47 samurai avenged the death and disgrace of their master, even if it marked them as ‘criminals.’ This tale is very well known and documented in Japan and people still visit the graves of the deceased in order to remember their commitment to their cause.

It’s been made into a film at least six times before, but this is the most ‘Hollywood’ version to date. For a start, we have Keanu Reeves as the lead character and it’s fair to say that no westerners took part in the actual event. Therefore, it’s safe to say that many liberties have been taken in this retelling. This point is hammered home by the inclusion of various mythological creatures our valiant exiled samurai encounter. And, I’m just guessing, but I’m pretty sure there weren’t any dragon-witches or giant ogres in Japan back then.

So, don’t expect a faithful re-telling of the historical event. But, do expect entertainment. I don’t know why, but ‘The Pirates of the Caribbean’ kept going through my mind while I was watching this. The whole affair sort of reminded me of Captain Jack Sparrow in the Far East. Every so often there’s a chase scene or a monster to fight and there are plenty of CGI backdrops for us to pretend are real. Perhaps the one thing that isn’t really included is an awful lot of fight scenes. I expected more ‘martial arts’ from a film about samurai, but there’s only a couple of swordplay scenes included.

All in all, it’s not a bad adventure film, but it’s kind of hard to think who its primary audience is. Like I said, it doesn’t have enough fights to be a martial arts film. It’s not ‘fun for all the family’ like Pirates of the Caribbean, so it’s more serious. If you like supernatural action/adventure movies which have had all the major gore and adult-stuff edited out, then you might like this. Keanu Reeves is ‘the star,’ but it’s the supporting Japanese cast that really hold it together.

I didn’t regret watching it, but I doubt I’d ever watch it again. I’ve got a hundred better action adventure films already in my collection.
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3.0 out of 5 stars 47 Ronin and 1 Keanu, 16 July 2014
This review is from: 47 Ronin (DVD)
"47 Ronin" is a retelling of a famous Japanese legend which has been updated and specifically adapted for Western audiences. This is especially true in the way it adds in the Keanu Reeves character to the story, a supposedly half American, half Japanese warrior with a mysterious background. I can only imagine that the writers thought that they needed a European character to make the story more sympathetic to Western audiences, but Keanu Reeves does not look any more Japanese than Sean Connery did in "You Only Live Twice".

Despite these changes though the film looks spectacular, especially on Blu Ray, with a very stylized exaggerated version of medieval Japan. The effects and the cinematography are all excellent, and there is some effort made to make the customs and mannerisms of Japan come to life. Fans of films like "Hero" and "House of Flying Daggers" will appreciate the look and feel of this movie, if nothing else.

The main problem with "47 Ronin" is that it fails to draw you into the story or make you care enough about the characters. Most of the ronin are anonymous supporting cast who live and die without making any impression. For those characters who are named as individuals there is nothing to make you sympathetic about their fate. The director can do action, but seems unable to convincingly show human relationships and emotions. In fact the most colourful and likeable character I found was the witch, played by Rinko Kikuchi, who is supposed to be the villain of the piece!

Despite a very good start "47 Ronin" fails to develop into anything very remarkable. Without caring about the characters the ending is a real anti-climax and one which makes it soon forgettable. Its a shame as the movie has a lot of potential but it fails to deliver on the initial build up and while enjoyable in places is far from being a classic of the genre.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars CGI is star of the show., 18 Aug 2014
By 
This review is from: 47 Ronin (DVD)
The Last Samurai meets House of Flying Daggers and falls far short of either. 14 to 25 year old action fans will no doubt love it for the fight scenes, and sensitive viewers may find meaning in Reeves' long stare-into-the-camera close-ups (and there are many) but to me it was just Reeves staring at the camera.
The best part of it was the CGI which varied from so-so to near-perfect. It was so good at times that after I had returned the rental copy I wished I had watched the movie again purely to see what CGI I had actually accepted as real.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant film, well worth the watch after debating weather ..., 10 Aug 2014
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This review is from: 47 Ronin (Amazon Instant Video)
Brilliant film,well worth the watch after debating weather to buy it in the first place. ( I only ever buy if I think I will watch a film more than once ). Keanu Reeves is very convincing in the lead role and the supporting characters hold their own. Not the ending I expected, which only added to the film's brilliance. Highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Crossed Identity, 28 July 2014
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This film has problems, such as the pacing and the sombre tone of everything, but it is capable of some astoundingly beautiful scenes as well. I would compare it to a high budget 70's martial arts film that takes itself painfully seriously and tries very hard to get across it's message about honour and sacrifice.
As i was not aware of the legend of the 47 Ronin from Japanese history it was only after some research that i discovered some of what i think this film hoped to put across, and that can only be a negative for what appears to want to be a big mainstream action film.
The performances are very good from the actors involved, especially if you are a fan of Keanu Reeves and his 'understated' form of acting. The action sequences are handled well and choreographed beautifully. What lets this film down is the long sequences between these gems were people wander around the forest looking longing/confused/earnest.
I do like this film, but not as much as i hoped
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5.0 out of 5 stars YOU WON'T BELIEVE THIS FILM!!! ... Seriously., 1 Aug 2014
This review is from: 47 Ronin [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
So where do I start. Faced with an unbelievable amount of over-bearingly massive helmets and impossibly inaccurate mythology, this is totes da best fylm evar. Keanu's face is without a doubt the most beautiful personification of cardboard playing dead I have ever had the joy of witnessing. With a rather drunk eye for detail the outfits are by far the.... most Interesting, aspect of the movie. So, take a look at the cover. Beautiful. Every person who plays an important role is on it, for example Zombie boy. His scene is definitely the best scene in the whole film. It's about 10 seconds long, and unbelievably tense. I don't think I've ever heard the sentence "what's your business here?" spoken with so much passion and intensity.
Watch this film, you will not believe it. seriously, watch it. But make sure you pay attention to the backgrounds, it's hilarious. And to make it even more enjoyable, put yourself in the right mood to laugh. If you understand.
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47 Ronin [DVD] [2014]
47 Ronin [DVD] [2014] by Carl Rinsch (DVD - 2014)
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